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ERIC Number: ED308712
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Finnish Vowel Harmony as a Prescriptive and Descriptive Rule: An Autosegmental Account.
Valimaa-Blum, Riitta
It is proposed in this paper that there are two rules involved in Finnish vowel harmony--prescriptive and descriptive. The prescriptive rule requires a back vowel in the suffix whenever there is a back vowel in the root; the descriptive rule lets the value of the last non-neutral vowel spread to the suffix and additionally involves an analysis of long loan words into prosodic compounds. In the autosegmental framework, the former rule treats all front vowels as neutral in the harmonic process while the later follows the "native line" and there are only two neutral vowels. The neutral vowels get their front value by segmental prespecification. The suffix vowels left unspecified after spreading have their front-value by a late default rule. This default rule is supported by the fact that epenthetic vowels in Finnish are [-back]. It has been suggested that consonant gradation in Finnish has become semasiologized as it has divided the lexicon into strata characterized by specific functional-stylistic valencies. It is concluded that the two vowel harmony rules have done the same; they divide the lexicon in two, and the alternating cases codify socially significant information. (DJD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A